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Genesys: Aggressive Avaya partner campaign paying off

Genesys ramps up efforts to lure Avaya and Alcatel partners away with its cloud portfolio

Contact centre software specialist Genesys has stepped up its aggressive recruitment campaign targeting Avaya and Alcatel channel partners.

Outlining a series of initiatives around migration and competitive displacement at its G-Summit in Amsterdam last week, the vendor said customers are demanding a cloud-based alternative to the legacy systems of its rivals.

“We see that there is a need to have an alternative – from the customer side, but also from the partner side. If they stick with Avaya and not having a cloud solution, they will run out of business; it’s a slow death,” Freidbert Schuh, SVP and GM for EMEA told Microscope.

The firm is already claiming some success, with sales from Avaya displacements rising by 143 percent in the first half of 2019, compared with the same period last year. It says UK Avaya partners that have made the leap include IP Integration, along with C3 Communications, which recently merged with Connect Managed Services.

“We’re playing to the desire for their customer base to benefit from omnichannel and lower cost going to the cloud. And we’re playing against [Avaya’s] weakness, obviously, in a number of areas, but number one is they don’t have a cloud offering. So that’s helped us be very successful,” said Paul Rolfe, VP, global partners and alliances at Genesys.

While it has on-premise technology in its portfolio, Genesys’ focus is firmly on the cloud, citing Gartner research that says 50 percent of contact centres will be in cloud by 2020. The company reports 70 percent of new customers chose its cloud offerings the first six months of this year, with revenue from its Genesys Cloud platform growing 225 percent in the UK. It also highlights the triple digit revenue growth of its SaaS offering PureCloud every year since its launch in 2015.

 

Behind the curve

Avaya has made its own public commitments to grow its cloud business – the vendor yesterday announced that its private cloud solution, Avaya ReadyNow, is now being made available in the UK alongside the launch of new Avaya and partner-hosted datacentres in EMEA. Despite this, the vendor is still “behind the innovation curve”, says Gerry Brown CX research director at IDC.

“Due to Avaya’s own weakness in the marketplace, their falling into Chapter 11, some technical problems around their product, and generally falling a little bit behind the innovation curve, they haven’t moved as quickly and as decisively as Genesys,” Brown told Microsope.

In contrast, Brown says Genesys’ acquisition of cloud firm Interactive Intelligence in 2016 “took them to another level in terms of their capabilities”. He says this has “manifested itself in the portfolio of products they have today, a very strong cloud that seems to be very well-received by their customers.

“That would certainly be attractive to partners, a because there’s a clear proof of concept. Whereas Avaya are still struggling to get their value proposition to market in the way they would like.”

As well as targeting potential new partners, Genesys is encouraging its existing traditional on-premise partners to migrate their customers to the cloud with a migration incentive programme that it says protects their incumbency.

“If you’re managing the maintenance contract with that on-premise customer, we’re going to protect your incumbent relationship,” said Rolfe. “For the end user customer, we will protect their investment from the on-premise licences they previously purchased. So depending on the commitment of time they’re willing to make, they get months of free of service, up to six months free if you commit to three years.”

 

Push to cloud

Julian Barrow, sales director at Genesys’ EMEA partner of the year, Foehn, says it is interesting to see Genesys’ strong messaging around pushing people to the cloud. “Genesys have got a lot of legacy resellers and partners based on-prem customers. Genesys is a clearer than ever that if they want to keep their customers they need to move to cloud,” he told Microsope.

“If a Genesys on-prem customer doesn’t move to the cloud with Genesys, they will move with someone else.”

Elsewhere, Rolfe said Genesys is offering greater financial benefits around deal registration to expand its footprint into new markets. “We have strong financial benefits for partners that encourage them to deal register, and bring forward new opportunities,” he told Microscope, adding that PureCloud deal registrations in from UK partners have seen a 1,200 percent growth in Q2.

Moving beyond 2019, the vendor says it is looking into adding co-sell referral as a partner type. “We had a referral model, but it was just lead referral, so we want to have more of a co-sell model. Partners have a structured expectation – and their value is not they know IT people, but they know people in the business, which are the real decision makers on cloud these days.”

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